Bram Stoker Estate



The Authoritative Resource for Information about Bram Stoker’s Life and Work


Abraham Stoker, Jr.

A Collection By and About Bram Stoker, Himself


The Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas  6 March 1897

Points About People

Bram Stoker, who stands in Henry Irving’s place to the outside world, has accompanied him on all his trips to this country. He is an athletic man, with pointed blonde beard and the shoulders of a college oarsman. He is an Oxford graduate, and a man particularly adapted to the various duties which he is called on to perform as Irving’s personal representative.

(Correction by BSE, Bram Stoker graduated from Trinity College Dublin)

Dracula: Bram Stoker's Very Anglo-Irish Bloodsucker - BBC America


and images of Bram Stoker’s request to replace his lost ticket to the reading room, and a letter of reference from his brother Tom Stoker.

Page updated  4 December 2013

The Bram Stoker Gold Medal, awarded annually for "the best imaginative work of the Session in any branch of effort in the School."

"For over 100 years, the Bram Stoker Prize has been awarded to a GSA graduating student since its donor, Bram Stoker, gifted a Gold Medal to the School in 1903. Strangely, no one really knows why Stoker, the author of Dracula (1897), should make such a generous gift and what his link with the School was .

Stoker (1847-1912) was an Irishman who moved to London in 1878 to work in the Lyceum theatre with English actor Henry Irving. It has been asserted that his friendship with Irving and the touring of the Lyceum company allowed him to form many friendships with others in the Arts; friendships which may have included Francis Newbery, the Director of School who originally commissioned Charles Rennie Mackintosh with the new School building.

Even without knowing the provenance of the prize, Stoker’s generosity continues to be remembered annually, with the Bram Stoker Prize awarded by the Director to the student producing the best imaginative work - though Stoker’s medal remains safely in the School archives."

- Glasgow School of Art, Project Bulletin, July 2007

Letter to Bram Stoker from Mark Twain, c. Spring, 1894. 

    “My Dear Stoker,

    I am dating this because it is not to be mailed at present.

    When it reaches you it will mean that there is a hitch in my machine-enterprise – a hitch so serious as to make it take to itself the aspect of a dissolved dream. This letter, then, will contain [the] cheque for the $100 which you have paid. And will you tell Irving for me – I can’t get up courage enough to talk about this misfortune, myself, except to you, whom by good luck I haven’t damaged yet – that when the wreckage presently floats ashore he will  get a good deal of his $500 back; & a dab at a time I will make up to him the rest.

    I’m not feeling as fine as I was when I saw you there in your home. Please remember me kindly to Mrs. Stoker. I gave up that London lecture project entirely. Had to – there’s never been a chance since to find the time.

Sincerely yours,

S.L. Clemens

    I am taking it for granted you still abide at 17 St. Leonard’s Terrace Chelsea”

Trinity News

A Dublin University Weekly

Vol. VI - No. 4     Thursday, 20th November 1958  Price 3d.


The Times, Monday 22 April 1912

Bram-Stoker-Lyceum-Irving-The Life

- Indiana Historical Society

James Whitcomb Riley, popular poet, suggests his friend meet Bram and his brother, Dr. George Stoker. “Then they can professionally put their heads together - “talk shop” and think it science - ignore us entirely, or hypnotize us and cut us up all unbeknownst.”


S.S. Minneapolis of the Atlantic Transport Line, on which the entire

Lyceum company (82 souls) traveled to New York, in October 1903. The ship was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff ,

described in this article by Bram Stoker as

"The World's Greatest Shipbuilding Yard ".

London Bytes

Stories, snapshots and sneak peeks of life in and around the streets of London.

Plaque spotting: Bram Stoker (1847 – 1912)


    Abraham (Bram) Stoker was born on 8 November 1847 in Clontarf, on the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland. He was the third of seven children – the others being William Thornley, Matilda, Thomas, Richard, Margaret, and George – born to Charlotte Thornley (1818-1901) from western Ireland and Abraham Stoker (1799-1876), a civil servant in Dublin. He was a sickly child, practically bed-ridden during his early years. During this time, his mother entertained him with stories and legends from Sligo, which included supernatural tales and accounts of death and disease. This may have helped lay the foundation for some of the Gothic motifs to be found later in his fiction.

    By the time he entered Trinity College in 1864, he had fully recovered from his mysterious (and undiagnosed) illness. Indeed, he was a strong young man who excelled at athletics, winning several awards for prowess in football, racing and weightlifting. Also active in debating and oratory, he served as President of the Philosophical Society. He was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1870 and a Master of Arts five years later.

    He followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Civil Service at Dublin Castle. While employed there, he wrote his first book, The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, published in 1879. During this period he also penned the first of many short stories, as well as theatre reviews written gratis for the Dublin Evening Mail. It was one of his reviews (of Hamlet) that brought him into contact with the British actor Henry Irving (who would be knighted by Queen Victoria in 1895). A close friendship developed between the two men that was to last until Irving’s death in 1905. In 1878, Irving invited Stoker to join him in London as business manager of his new Lyceum Theatre.

    Just before leaving Dublin, Bram married Florence Balcombe, reputed to be one of Dublin’s most beautiful women. The couple had just one child, a son Irving Noel Thornley, born in December 1879. Stoker’s work at the Lyceum made great demands on his time. His responsibilities included arranging provincial seasons and overseas tours, keeping financial records and acting as Irving’s secretary. He organized the Lyceum’s eight North American tours, during which he met and befriended Walt Whitman (whose poetry he had defended as an undergraduate at Trinity) and Mark Twain. His association with Irving brought him into contact with many of the leading figures of his day: for example, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Richard Burton, Henry Morton Stanley, Lord and Lady Randolph Churchill, and William Gladstone.   

    Stoker continued his writing, publishing numerous short stories as well as novels. He began work on what would become Dracula early in 1890. His working notes for the novel (now available as Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition) provide much information about the development of characters, settings, and elements of the plot, as well as the nature of his research. The town of Whitby, which Stoker visited with his family in the summer of 1890, had a significant influence on the shaping of his book. In fact it was at the Whitby Public Library that Stoker encountered the name “Dracula”, which he quickly appropriated for his vampire. Earlier vampire literature, most notably Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” (1872), also likely helped him develop his own story.

    As a writer, Stoker was best known in his own day not for Dracula (1897) but for Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving (1906). Some of his lesser-known works include the novels The Snake’s Pass (1890), The Shoulder of Shasta (1895), The Jewel of Seven Stars (1904), Lady Athlyne (1908), The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911). Also of note are two collections of short stories – Under the Sunset (1881) and Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories (1914) – as well as the non-fictional A Glimpse of America (1886).

    Stoker did not live to see the fame of Dracula. He died in London on 20 April 1912. His cremated remains are located at Golders Green Crematorium. As the result of stage adaptations in the 1920s and the Universal Studios’ movie blockbuster of 1931 (starring Bela Lugosi), Dracula became one of the world’s best-known novels. It has never been out of print, has been translated into every major foreign language, and has spawned hundreds of novels, short stories, and movies. Count Dracula has permeated just about every aspect of our culture.

        --Biography kindly provided by Dr. Elizabeth Miller

    Dr. Elizabeth Miller is recognized internationally as a leading Dracula scholar. She has lectured widely, both in Europe and North America, participated in several television documentaries, and travels regularly as guest speaker with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She has been interviewed by numerous media, including ABC, CBS, BBC, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal.

    Her publications include: Reflections on Dracula (1997), A Dracula Handbook (2005), Dracula: Sense & Nonsense (2006), Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition (2008, with Robert Eighteen-Bisang) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A Documentary Journey into Vampire Country and the Dracula Phenomenon (2009).

    Elizabeth, who lives in Toronto, is president of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula (Canadian Chapter). In this capacity she co-organized the World Dracula Congress (Romania, 1995) and Dracula 97: A Centennial Celebration (Los Angeles, 1997). She maintains two Dracula websites, accessible through


Author, and Manager of Sir Henry Irving,

Expired in London.

    Bram Stoker, author, theatrical manager, close friend and advisor of the late Sir Henry Irving, died in London last Sunday. For twenty-seven years he was business manager for the famous English actor, in charge of the Lyceum Theatre during Irving's tenancy of that house.

    Mr. Stoker, whose first name was Abraham and who was always known by the diminutive of Bram, was born in Dublin in 1848. His father held an official post in Dublin Castle, and the young man was educated at Dublin university. At the university he took high honors in mathematics, and after his graduation he obtained a post in the civil service, finally becoming an Inspector of Petty Sessions.

    His personal relationship with Sir Henry Irving began in early youth, and their business association was formed in 1878, when Irving began his carer at the Lyceum. This association was not ended until the death of the actor, in 1905. After the passing of Irving, Stoker served on the literary staff of the London Daily Telegraph, and also acted as the manager of David Bispham's light opera, "The Vicar of Wakefield."

    His best-known publication is "Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving," issued in 1908. Among his other works, mostly fantastic fiction, are " Under the Sunset," "The Snake's Pass," "The Watter's Mou," "The Shoulder of Shasta," "Dracula," "The Mystery of the Sea," "The Jewel of the Seven Stars," and "The Lady of the  Shroud."

    His wife was Florence Agnes Lemon Balcombe, and they had one son. He was a medalist of the Royal Humane Society and a member of the National Liberal, the Authors', and the Green Room Clubs.

The New York Times

April 23, 1912

Note: copied with original errors.

Corrections: Born in 1847,

Florence Anne Lemon Balcombe


West Gippsland Gazette, Warragul, Vic. Australia Tues. Jan 11, 1910

Mr Bram Stoker, Irving's late manager, writes on "Deadheads" in the "Fortnightly Review" for October. He makes the interesting calculation that out of London's 6 1/2 million residents there are 1,300.000 playgoers, with an average yearly attendance at the theatre of eight performances, making 10,000,000 attendances a year. To these he adds 50,000 transient visitors to London, who probably see two plays a week, making a yearly attendance of 5,000,000 performances. These added together make 15,000,000 persons who attend a performance. In London, Mr. Stoker says, there are fifty-eight theatres. Giving these six performances a week and fifty weeks, he  arrives at a yearly total of 20,000 performances. This gives for all the theatres an average audience of some  754 paying persons.

Dracula Author-Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker follows Sir Henry Irving into the waiting cab.

- From Wallace’s American Trotting Register, 1895

Bram Stoker '81 , bay horse foaled 1881 by Col. Bullock 8M7, dam Western Belle by Robert McGregor 617 etc. (See Western Belle Vol V1IL)

Bred by William J. Davis, Crown Point, Ind.

BSE note: William J Davis was a Chicago theater manager, who bred trotting horses, fox-terriers and collies on his 1100 acre farm in Indiana.

Bram Stoker, who accompanied Henry Irving to this country, writing of American homes, says that every man builds his own house according to his own wants, the consequence being a general picturesque effect, and the creation of almost a new order of architecture. He particularly mentions Michigan Avenue, Chicago, as a street of great beauty.

- The Current, Edgar L. Wakeman 1886

From Studio to Stage: Reminiscences of Weedon Grossman,

Weedon Grossman 1912

While touring with Irving I met George Alexander and Bram Stoker in New Street, Birmingham, one day, outside a small hall where a showman was announcing at the top of his voice that they were u just about to commence." A magnificent African lion was pictured waltzing with the lion tamer. Alexander decided to see the performance, went in, and was charged sixpence. I followed, paying the same amount, but Bram Stoker was only asked fourpence— why I have never known. Bram Stoker was always well dressed, and looked worth the sixpence, but perhaps the showman thought he was poor as he was dressed in black. We all stood round the lion's cage in a back-yard, where a tent had been erected, and the trainer, dressed in pink fleshings and a spangled belt, informed us briefly that" the lion was the largest and the fiercest it had ever been his good fortune to master." A little boy said, " 'As he ever ate anyone?" The lion tamer, though a little annoyed at being interrupted, condescended to inform the lad that the noble beast had been responsible for the deaths of several human beings, both black and white, and many were injured during his capture. He then drew the curtains aside, and we were all bound to admit that the lion was a magnificent creature. He seemed in a very bad temper, perhaps it was the look of the house, the audience consisting of only nine persons, all told.

The noble beast was snarling and giving us a good view of his great teeth, and when he pressed against the bars of the cage they seemed to give with his weight. In fact, it all looked very dangerous, and I was turning over in my mind whether I would n't have a cigarette outside, when the lion tamer seized a strong whip, opened the cage door, and leapt in. He struck the usual professional attitude, and then slashed the whip several times at the lion's legs, who in response sprang at him, throwing him to the ground. For a moment we thought it was part of the business, but only for a moment; in another second, with extraordinary acrobatic skill, the tamer had twisted from under the lion and was out of the cage, but unfortunately he omitted to close the door after him. I have often seen a crowd leave a theatre hurriedly after a bad performance. I have seen guests at a party rushing for the door to get to the supper rooms when a gentleman has announced that he will recite "The Pit's Mouth " or " The Pride of Battery B." But never have I seen a place emptied with such rapidity as that tent was. I did not wait to ask for my money back — there being no performance — nor did anyone else, I fancy. In three seconds I was in New Street, where I saw George Alexander and Bram Stoker jumping on to a passing bus, Stoker shouting to the conductor, " Don't stop for us, please, we can jump on." I went into the nearest shop, it was an estate agent's, and I closed the door after me because of the draught — for no other reason.

George Alexander — now Sir George — and a member of the County Council, may deny the veracity of this story, but it is absolutely true. Ask Lady Alexander, I am sure she will stand by me.

June 1, 1866

GRAND WALKING MATCH - Yesterday, a grand walking match came off in the park of Trinity College for prizes consisting of a silver cup, an electro-plated cup and a "pewter." The distance to be gone over was seven miles, and the start took place at five minutes to three o'clock in extremely wet weather. Mr. A. Stoker came in winner in an hour and eight minutes. Mr. F. Smith came in second, and Mr. Hart third. There were twelve gentlemen entered for the race, and eight started,

Originally published 23 April 1912,

this obituary was reprinted in the "Irish Times" on 23 April 2012

to mark the Centenary of Bram Stoker's death

In the early seventies there was no more popular man in Trinity College. As an athletic he was facile princeps, being one of the finest walkers who ever won the championship. His attainments in science gained him honours in pure mathematics, but his fame was made not in the Examination Hall, but in the Undergraduate Debating Societies.

He was Auditor of the College Historical and President of the Philosophical Societies, a double distinction which it is reserved for few to obtain. The exuberance of his spirits, the friendliness of his manner, and his firm, straight- forward character gained for him a welcome wherever he went. Mr. Stoker was born in Dublin on the 8th of March, 1847. His father, Mr. Abraham Stoker, was an official in the Chief Secretary’s Office, Dublin Castle, which position he held for over fifty years. He married the daughter of Captain Thomas Thornley, of Ballyshannon, and they had a large family of sons.

Bram was appointed to the office of Registrar of Petty Sessions Clerks in Dublin Castle, where he remained until 1878. During this period he took the M.A. degree in the University of Dublin, and, having also gone through the Law School, he was called to the English Bar.

Mr. Stoker’s literary ability was shown at an early age, and while still a college student, in addition to his office work, he found time to act as dramatic, art, and literary critic for several journals both in England and Ireland.

It was at a supper party given in the rooms of that Mr. Stoker first made Sir Henry Irving’s acquaintance, which resulted in his becoming manager and confidential secretary to Irving, then lessee of the Lyceum .

Many of his friends in Dublin thought at the time that it was hardly wise on his part to give up the certainty of a Government position and to commence life afresh in the hazardous theatrical profession. Events proved the risk was worth taking, and he remained with Sir Henry Irving until the great actor’s death in October, 1905.

Since then, his attention was more fully directed to literary work. He was on the staff of the Daily Telegraph, and has written several novels, mostly of a sensational character. In 1906 he brought out his Life of Henry Irving, which was one of the books of the year, and financially and in every other respect proved a huge success. As a biographer dealing with the life of a man he knew so intimately, he did better work than as a novelist. There was a demand for his books, however, and from 1882, when he published Under the Sunset, until 1905, when he wrote The Man, he brought out eight tales, which were readable, though they were not marked by any originality. Before attempting fiction he published a valuable work on The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, which is a standard authority on the subject.

Mr. Bram Stoker's Library

The Times, July 8,1913

    Messrs. Sotheby sold yesterday the collection of printed books and manuscripts of the late Mr. Bram Stoker, 211 lots realizing  £ 400 I2s. The more important included the edition de luxe of George Meredith's “works," 1896 - 1911 - £ 35 (Spenser) ; a set of the Edinburgh edition of R. L. Stevenson’s "works'," 1894 -0 - £61 (Bain); a set of Presentation copies of the works of James Whitcomb Riley, the “Hoosier" poet of America, in 11 volumes, each with autograph inscription - £ 46 (Quaritch); a collection of fragments of Walt Whitman’s writings, all in his autograph - £ 16 l0s. (Crawley); and a death mask and hands of President Lincoln, cast by Angustus St. Gaudens in l886 from the original moulds made by Volk - £lO 10s. (Benyon).

    Other properties included R. Browning, " La Saisiaz: The Two Poets of Croisic," 1878, with inscription on title page to Miss Haworth in Browning's autograph - £20 ( Spencer); Dickens and Wilkie Collins, “No Thoroughfare," 1867, first edition in the original wrappers - £ 50 (Maggs) ; Collins, "The Frozen Deep," 1886, with a facsimile of a page of the original MS., 1866 - £ 30 (Sessler); and the original MS. of the dramatized version of Wilkie Collins’s"Woman in White," 138 pages quarto - £ 20 (Sessler).

"British Books", Volume 96, Publisher's Circular Ltd 1912

The Late Mr. “Bram” Stoker

Mr. “ Bram” Stoker as he was familiarly called, though his Christian name was Abraham, died on April 20th, in London, in his 65th year, after a long illness. Civil servant, journalist, novelist, author, and private secretary t0 the late Sir Henry Irving, Mr. Stoker led always a busy life, pursuing more than one calling at once. His most imposing literary work is his “Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving,” published five years ago; but the work by which he has achieved fame is undoubtedly that remarkable book of fiction, in the shape of letters, entitled “ Dracula," a vampire story, that has passed through numerous editions. Mr. Stoker's latest book, “ The Lair of the White Worm,” which appeared at Christmas somewhat after the same model, but it exhibited signs of the breakdown in his health, which has now had a fatal termination. Its predecessor, “ The Lady of the Shroud," was a charming mystery story of the Balkans ; and an earlier one, “Lady Athlyne,” was a clever romance, based on the Scotch marriage law. Although not in the front rank of novelists, Mr. Stoker was a. great favourite with novel readers, and could be depended upon to supply interest and sensation, coupled with

literary style.—The Literary WorId.

[“Bram” Stoker was a most genial, charming man; a shilling edition of  his “Dracula” has only just been published —ED. P.C.]

© Bettman/Corbis

B. 8 November 1847 at Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland

D. 20 April 1912 at London, England